Paris Tips: Paradise Found
By Theadora Brack
This week, as a teary adieu to Mad Men, let’s catch some bliss and sunrays. On gossamer wings, follow me to the terrace at the Musée d’Art Moderne, located on the eastern arm of the Palais de Tokyo. Built for the 1937 Exposition Internationale, here is one of my favorite havens in Paris. The wine is affordable, while the view of the Eiffel Tower breaks hearts faster than Don Draper.
On the terrace, you’ll also find voluptuous nymphs chill-axing by the poolside. Wearing nothing but sheer confidence and stylish do’s, don’t hate them because they’re still beautiful. According to master coiffeur Acacio Pezzutti da Silva, our mod squad is sporting the softer 1930s rolled-up version of the bobbed hairdo, originally fashioned by Antoine de Paris in 1909.
Never underestimate the power of a flattering hairdo. Perhaps this explains the strength they exude?
As my grandmother Helen used to say, “If you look like a million bucks, you’ll feel like a million bucks.” I couldn’t agree more.
Trekking to Paris?
Don’t leave the city without indulging in a beverage (or two) on a café terrace. Sure, your drinks may cost a little more than in a grocery store, but the upside is that you’ll have courtside seats for people-watching, and you can stay as long as you like. So don’t forget to pack your sketchbook or selfie stick!
What to order? For inspiration, let’s take another dip into Frank Meier’s The Artistry of Mixing Drinks. I’ve pulled another batch of recipes from his book for your garden parties.
Winding it back: during the heyday of the cocktail, Frank was the head barman at the Hôtel Ritz. Published in 1934, his flask-sized guide is full of tips, recipes, and gossip, along with some old-fashioned remedies. Feeling the motion of the ocean? Champagne is your pal, according to Frank. Good one Frank, I’d say! Rock the boat.
Pulling no punches, he serves up 300 easy-to-follow recipes for Cobblers, Coolers, Daisies, Fixes, Flips, Highballs, Juleps, Rickets, Shrubs, Slings, Smashes, and Sours. With wit, he delivers. Whenever he’d serve his signature “Tin Roof” cocktail, he’d quip, “It’s on the house!” and then follow up with, “but this hotel’s roof is made of tile!” That joke never got old, I’m sure.
Tip: While planning your own shindigs, don’t forget Frank’s credo about what makes a great bar truly great. It’s not the drink recipes, he said. And it’s not the décor. It’s the people. At long last, love! Crank up the printers!
1. Sea Pea
(Created for Cole Porter) In shaker: the juice of one-half Lemon, one glass of sweetened Anise “Pernod fils,” shake well, strain into fizz glass, add Schweppes soda water or siphon and serve.
In mixing glass: a dash of Grand Marniere, half French Vermouth, half Gin; stir well and serve.
3. Million Dollar
In shaker: half white of Egg, a dash of Grenadine, a teaspoon of Pineapple ice, one-half glass of Gin; shake well, strain into double cocktail glass and serve.
In mixing-glass: a dash each of Maraschino and Anise “Pernod fils,” half French Vermouth, half Gin; stir well and serve.
In a mixing glass: a dash of Orange Bitters, one-third each of Italian Vermouth, Gin and Scotch Whiskey; stir well and serve.
6. Top Speed
In shaker: one-fourth Anise “Pernod fils,” one-fourth French Vermouth, half brandy; shake well and serve.
In shaker: a dash of Anise “Pernod fils,” half French Vermouth, half Gin, a sprig of Mint; shake well and serve.
In shaker: two-sixths Bacardi, one-sixth Lemon juice, half Anise “Pernod fils,” shake well and serve.
9. Gin and Sin
In shaker: a dash of Grenadine, a teaspoon each of Orange and Lemon ice, three-fourths Gin; shake well and serve.
10. Last Round
In mixing-glass: two dashes of Anise “Pernod fils,” two dashes of Brandy, half French Vermouth, half Gin; stir well and serve.
Obviously Monsieur Frank liked Pernod fils—an early case of product placement?—but to be perfectly frank, it does offer a certain sine qua non that always makes me think of France. Speaking of which . . .
In the mood for more Paris time travel?
Grab another cocktail, and then head on over to Le Chronoscaphe. Aline Héau’s website is full of found photography. The impressive collection now hovers around 30,000 slides and photographs.
In the wise words of Don Draper
“Nostalgia—it’s delicate, but potent . . . it’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone . . . it takes us to a place where we ache to go again . . . it lets us travel the way a child travels—around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.”
Don, you will be missed.